Things That I've Found Myself Doing This Week

This 21 Day Challenge at the Sisterhood is awesome and I'll tell you why. My goal was to eat clean and as I go through day 3, I'm finding out I have lots of naughty naughty habits, even if they don't add up calorie-wise to over the limit, they're still not really healthy habits!

Like for instance, I mindlessly eat. Who knew?!

Because eating clean, for me, means no unnecessary snacks and eating whole foods when I'm hungry and only when I'm hungry so I am listening to my body. So imagine my surprise when I'm wandering around the mall after getting the birthday gift I went in to buy and I pass Auntie Anne's and their pretzel sticks, which completely fit into my points regimen with Weight Watchers, but not into the "eating clean" category. See, I wasn't hungry. But it was there. And I totally would have gotten them on any other day, for absolutely no reason.

So goes, too, with Starbucks. I didn't need the coffee or the caffeine, but it was there.

After wandering around the mall for a few minutes and having nothing to do and wanting to just sit down and have coffee or pretzels and stare off into space, I decided I would take the yummy, cleansing, white tea I bought and just go home because there was nothing left to do at the mall besides eat or drink something. Sure, eating those things would not have been that big of a deal, but the reason why I would have been eating them was really sort of interesting to me, because it wasn't out of hunger, it was entirely out of boredom.

Tonight is date night and normally I would have configured my points to include some yummy (bad) dinner with my husband. And bad to only a certain degree, because my version of "bad" now is so much better than it used to be, i.e. we no longer go all the way with the liquory coffees and desserts and the whole shabang like we used to.

But since I'm committed to my version of clean eating (and I say "my version" because I don't know if it fits in with whatever anyone else's idea of clean eating is, it is just mine and cleaning up my personal patterns and habits) instead of eating out, we're eating at home (wow!) and then we're going to the gym to play racquetball and swim (wow again!)

Now, normally after that, we'd go to Buffalo Wild Wings afterward because it is literally in the parking lot of the gym and normally I would have had beer (within my alotted points) but I have also given up alcohol for a few months, so if we do go, I will drink water and probably not eat anything unless I am actually hungry. And if I am hungry, naked grilled chicken tenders it is! It sounds really super boring, but the activities are not, they're super fun, I'm just trying to fill up my life with fun instead of food and trying not to look at my life as boring if it's not centered around food. Because we think about food all the time and how it spices life up so much! Why do we do that? I don't know. I do it, but I don't know why.

The thing is too, I've found that by stopping all this mindless snacking, I'm adding more whole foods to my meals so I'm not too hungry in between. And I've got apples and fruit and probiotic yogurt and whole wheat tortillas or tea and lots of other yummies to snack on if I'm starving. And that's another thing, I'm finding myself turning back to tea, I'm trying new things to try (today was a new guacamole recipe because I want my kids to try avocado!) And by making sure that what I'm doing is not food-centered (bored eating at the mall, sports night as a date night), it's almost completely taking the importance out of food and it's making me view it as fuel instead. And purely functional.

I am wearing my "discipline" necklace to help me along, because when all is said and done, it's really not easy for me to change behaviors especially ones I didn't realize really existed! And especially as I get Happy Meals for the kids (I know, I know, hypocritical mom here!)  I'm doing this because as I continue to train for the half-marathon and the couple of sprint triathlons I'm doing this summer, I want to think like I'm training. I wouldn't half-ass a training run or ride or swim, so I don't want to half-ass my eating either. And I want to see what happens if I am truly, truly serious. Will this stick after 21 days? Will I make it to day 22 and shovel my face with Tijuana Flats? Will I have cravings? How will I fill them? These are all things I want to know! If you have a habit you want to change, join me in this 21 day challenge, it really is interesting and fun! And it's not too late, either! You can read more about it here.

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